President Trump wants to cut out the middle man — in this case, the White House operator — and have world leaders call him directly on his cellphone, several former and current U.S. officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
He's already told Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to give him a ring on his cell, breaking protocol and raising the concerns of security experts who say a cellphone, even one issued by the government, could easily be tapped by a foreign government. Officials told AP that Trudeau has taken Trump up on his offer and called his cellphone, but Nieto has not. A French official said that when he called French President Emmanuel Macron to congratulate him on his victory, he gave Macron his cell number, but the official would not say if Macron plans on ever calling it.
"If you are Macron or the leader of any country and you get the cellphone number of the president of the United States, it's reasonable to assume that they'd hand it right over to their intel service," Ashley Deeks, a University of Virginia law professor and former assistant legal adviser for political-military affairs at the State Department, told AP. The White House did not respond to requests for comment.